Jahmyr Gibbs' rookie season landed him in some exclusive company

We know Jahmyr Gibbs had a great rookie season, and the raw numbers he put up on the ground landed him in some exclusive company.
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Jahmyr Gibbs was eased into action as a rookie last year, but he still topped 1,200 yards from scrimmage with more than 50 receptions and double-digit touchdowns (10 rushing, 11 total) on his way to earning a Pro Bowl nod.

The arrow is pointing way up for Gibbs heading into his second season, with the easy expectation he'll see more work and have an expanded role in the passing game. He also missed two games as a rookie, so simply being available for every game stands to give him a natural production boost.

In terms of rookie seasons by a running back in Lions' history, Gibbs easily joined Barry Sanders (1989) and Billy Sims (1980) in elite-level company above all the others. But league-wide in fairly recent history, Gibbs also landed in some high-end company for a rookie running back.

Jahmyr Gibbs landed in some exclusive company for production by a rookie running back

Garrett Podell of CBS Sports has unveiled his ranking of the top-20 running backs in the NFL for the 2024 season. David Montgomery garnered an honorable mention, while Gibbs came in at No. 8. Take issue with those placements however you may, but Podell added a note about what Gibbs did last season.

"He became just the eighth rookie in the 21st century to total more than 900 rushing yards (945) and at least 10 rushing touchdowns (10) while averaging at least five yards a carry (5.2, third most in the NFL among running backs in 2023, on 182 carries). The company Gibbs keeps with his rookie year production is among some of the NFL's best when it comes to Pro Bowl running backs."

Per Podell, the other seven rookie running backs since 2000 to have more than 900 rushing yards with at least 10 touchdowns on the ground while averaging at least five yards per carry are:

-Jonathan Taylor (2020)
-Saquon Barkley (2018)
-Ezekiel Elliott (2016)
-Adrian Peterson (2007)
-Maurice Jones-Drew (2006)
-Clinton Portis (2002)
-Mike Anderson (2000)

As good as Gibbs was last year, in exclusive company by some measures, there's ample room for him to do even more this year. Lions general manager Brad Holmes had the proper sentiment very early this offseason.

"He’s (Gibbs) gonna be better next year, like this was just scratching the surface of what he did this year," Holmes said. "Next year’s gonna be even better which is scary."

Next. The 5 best running backs in Detroit Lions history. The 5 best running backs in Detroit Lions history. dark